Grounded. Yes, that's how this record makes me feel. Grounded in hard bop. Certainly if I walked into my favourite jazz club and I heard this band I'd know I'd come to the right place. It's like walking with the spirits, talking to them.
But ''new sounds''? Well, not really because this is straight out of Art Blakey particularly when Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter were in the Jazz Messengers on records such as The Big Beat. That's still a sound to be reckoned with when interpreted by fairly new artists spinning on the jazz merry-go-round especially if as here what's produced doesn't sound as if it's on permanent display down the jazz museum.
What is new are the compositions, quite a few of which are written by members of the band, mostly a bunch of unknowns. The great thing about these players is that they play like a band and not like soloists just waiting for future glory. A few stand out but they're all solid. Pianist Caili O'Doherty reminds me a little of Sarah Tandy and trumpeter Brandon Lee has bags of personality. There's a lot of spirit on this record. I suppose if push were to come to shove I'd pick out the ache and rawness of tenorist Nicole Glover's 'Blues for Tangier' but overall the tunes make sense although there are few fireworks. Forget all that stuff about ''newness''. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter too much. Some things don't go out of fashion and this record is saying just that and a whole lot more.
Out On Posi-Tone this Friday